Friday, December 1, 2017

Six more Tuesdays until the legislature reconvenes

By Casey Fields, manager for municipal advocacy

Only six more Tuesdays until the South Carolina General Assembly reconvenes for the second half of the 2017-2018 legislative session on January 9, 2018. During the summer and fall – even more so than in recent memory - legislators have been in and out of Columbia attending Senate and House hearings. 

Discussions on the V.C. Summer nuclear plant collapse have taken center stage. Other House subcommittees have held meetings on law enforcement and elections, and the House Ways and Means Local Government Fund Ad Hoc Study Committee has met twice.

For the 2018 session, the Municipal Association Legislative Committee and board of directors, with input from municipal officials who attended the Regional Advocacy Meetings, adopted the 2018 advocacy initiatives tackling issues from blight and business licensing to the Local Government Fund and enclave annexation.

Over the course of the Regional Advocacy Meetings in August and September, more than 300 municipal officials voiced their concerns about local issues. The cover story in the December Uptown outlines the 2018 advocacy initiatives in detail under the broader topics of encourage business growth and development, provide quality services, increase funding for law enforcement, expand funding sources for infrastructure, and reduce blight. Each broad topic is explained and then broken down into action items that specify legislative action that can help solve the broader issue.

We will be successful with these advocacy initiatives only if we work together.. There are several ways local officials can stay informed about issues at the State House impacting cities and towns.

Read the Friday From the Dome to Your Home for updates about what happened at State House that week, the Monday Uptown Update for any breaking news over the weekend and the monthly Uptown for in depth background on issues. Check with the legislative tracking system for specific bills and committee action and communicate with your legislative team at the Municipal Association regularly.

You all know how to do it. In fact, history shows that you are very good at it. Let’s work together this year to support positive, proactive legislation that helps local officials govern better, more efficiently, and provide better and more services to residents. Of course, we will also have to oppose legislation that harms cities and towns, and will fight furiously when that happens.

I look forward to working together to make cities and towns even better.

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